Why Portrait of June?

I decided to change my site name some weeks ago to match my Instagram. I wanted to condense everything into the same name and make the domain mine. I continue to have a personal site, where you’ll see my portfolio with links, photographs and other info. Bear with me while I fill it up. But even if I don’t want to admit it, Portrait of June marks a new point. For years I’ve been struggling to write consistently, usually going on and off for months, but always returning to it. Most recently I published two pieces outside of my site. I want to submit more work, but I feel a certain monotony about doing the same activity. I realize that once I come back to a piece of writing I’ve been putting off, everything tends to unfold, and what lay hidden is now flourishing. But the hardest thing is going back to it.

Perhaps it’s time to truly get out there and embrace the idea of June (I get that the month of June is over, but June is more than just a month, it’s a way of being). It’s when you’re riding your bike and the heat is quick to catch you, but you escape with the wind as the traffic light changes. It’s also when a surprise afternoon drizzle rescues you from the relentless heat, you wonder if it will become any thing more than that and you peddle home quickly. It’s a beginning that doesn’t overwhelm us so fast, but is nonetheless here, in full bloom for all to see. There’s a promise to June unlike the spring months when we were still waiting, revving up or just getting out of our cocoon. There is a sense of awakening and being fully out there, and knowing how to fly with our new set of wings. Escape if you must, but make it grand.



The beginning

The Yellow Arrow, by the Russian writer Victor Pelevin. 1993.
photo credit: angusrobertson.com.au


A few years back I found a tiny book, The Yellow Arrow, buried in a library shelf. There was a world, a society, living and dying between the wagons and hallways of a train. When the hour arrived the choice of  life or death came to Andrei, but which one was life, the train or the nameless outside?

Through its subtle imagery, The Yellow Arrow, captures the political feeling of the 1990s, and  an underlying metaphor about searching for freedom.

  • The train is the ongoing motion of living. Train tracks, people and the sound of repetitive wheels. The people stayed there, forever inside, the wagon doors—stale and unable to get off. They lived as passengers within the main periphery, viewing life as a narrow tunnel, failing to explore what was beyond, pretending they were free  in fake communities. They were told this train here is “our life and our home.” To get out is but a dream, and even when it finally happens one cannot believe it. It takes a dreamy sequence to unveil a reality that one knew existed for so long, but held it in disbelief. When we truly live, minutes are slowed to every word and captured instance. In that moment of freeing ourselves from an idea, a life that inhibits us, we manifest a beginning separate and entirely our own, so that we may explore what lies beyond the walls of the ongoing train. We are no longer just passengers in our own lives.
  • Eventually Andrei realizes the only way he’ll be happy is by finding an escape to the outside world even if that means death. Being stuck in the train is itself a signature for a slow death. It’s time to get off.
  • Reading this book made me think about the feeling of being caged in. The ongoing train represents modern life. Writing is a way of getting out, like twisting fingers for meaning. I propose an exercise to write more frequently. What I’ll be leaving out of this blog: lines that run off in every direction with an onslaught of hyperbole, exclamations and links.  It is for the sake of finding stories, books, film, art, quotes (from the actual pages of a book) and individuals that inspire me. I thank you if you are passing by, reading or commenting.

Look out for posts – twice weekly.